Wow, the base MSRP for a front-wheel-drive 2.0T is $2000 LESS than a similarly equipped ? It seems that the Passat range has been reduced only to front-wheel-drive models equipped with the 2.0T turbocharged four-cylinder engine; all-wheel-drive 4Motion and VR6 models have been nixed, yet reappear in the CC range.
As old as it is, the VR6 is still a smooth, strong engine. Combined with the six-speed “tiptronic,” it responds swiftly and smoothly to throttle input. And with the CC’s supple ride quality and quiet cabin (wind noise, even with frameless windows, is virtually nonexistent), it really does feel like a more premium product than the regular Passat. But why must this be a four-seater? The pointless slide-open center console in the rear could be better served by a third (if not small) seat.
Evan McCausland, Web Producer
On the surface, the four-door coupe exercise seems silly in a sub-$50,000 vehicle. But to be honest, if I were shopping for a new car, I’d definitely consider one of these attractive four-door coupe things, especially now that Volkswagen has pulled the price out of the stratosphere (for the base CC, that is, which starts at $27,480 in attractive 2.0T/stick-shift spec). The nearly $43K sticker price for this particular vehicle, however, is very expensive for a swoopy Passat.
Granted, that money goes toward a completely fresh interior that’s quite nice, pleasant, and impressive. Still, I’d be enticed by the 2.0-liter turbo version of the CC not only because of its much lower price, but also because I prefer the 2.0T to the 3.6-liter narrow-angle V-6 anyway. If you’ve got the money, though, the all-wheel-drive, six-speed-automatic, VR6 model is a fine car. The brakes felt quite touchy, though, and took more getting used to than those of most new cars.
The CC’s lines are slick, but I hit my head on the roofline twice – and I’m only 5′ 6″! The back seats are extremely comfortable once you’re in, though. My final observation: you’ve gotta love those Germans. Why? The acronym for the backup system is one letter away from oops – OPS (“optical positioning system,” I believe).
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor
It’s hard to believe our Four Seasons TDI and this CC are made by the same company. The TDI is a nondescript looking little car featuring terrific engineering and interior quality head and shoulders above anything else in its class. The CC, on the other hand, is a stunning exercise that falls a bit short in the details.
The CC is, no doubt, a looker. I drive a different car into my apartment complex every night, but this is the only one that’s ever gotten any attention. “That thing a Volkswagen?” my neighbor asked in amazement. Clearly, this is the new style leader in the mid-size segment.
The one thing that does not quite come across in pictures is the CC’s size. It looks massive in person, and drives accordingly. The VR6 provides strong acceleration and its handling is well balanced, but the car never lets you forget how big it is. This won’t bother buyers coming from SUVs or other large sedans, but those accustomed to VW’s engaging smaller products will be disappointed.
VW aficionados will likewise be shocked by the interior quality, or lack thereof. Most of the plastic trim is rough, and hard. The trim surrounding the HVAC unit was flimsy and already coming loose – not what one expects from a $40,000 car. Again, this is all the more incomprehensible given that our $23,000 Jetta has a flawless interior that puts many more expensive vehicles to shame.
The CC’s competent performance and jaw-dropping looks should attract plenty of buyers. But I would prefer to see VW bake in a bit more of that German engineering they’ve been advertising as of late.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor
Luxury VR6 4Motion
Base Price (with destination): $39,
Price as tested: $42,630
Driver Care Package – $1600
Technology Package – $1850
6-speed Tiptronic Automatic Transmission – $6600
Fuel Economy: 17 / 25 / 20 mpg (city/hwy/combined)
Size: 3.6L V-6 FSI
HP: 280 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque: 265 lb-ft @ 2750 rpm
Safety Ratings (in stars, 1-5):
-Frontal Crash Driver: 4
-Frontal Crash Passenger: 4
-Side Crash Front Seat: 5
-Side Crash Rear Seat: 4
Transmission: 6-Speed Tiptronic Automatic Transmission
Weight: 3628 lb
– 18″ AMG Alloy Wheels (size)
– 235/40 R18 95W, all-season tires